Jay Bilas joined ESPN as a college basketball analyst in 1995, and provides courtside analysis on more than 40 games a year, and as a studio analyst for ESPN’s weekly College GameDay and College Gamenight shows. He recently sat down and spoke to members of the media in a conference call to discuss the 2011 NCAA tournament. Here’s what he had to say.
Yes, the official blew the call, but so did Scoop Jardine. When the pass sailed wide, Jardine tried to toe the halfcourt line, and you only do that if you think you’re about to be called for over-and-back. I can’t put myself in the place of an official, but I would think that how Scoop reacted when the play happened would only draw the official’s attention to it. It was also a bad pass from Dion. It’s easy to put the blame on the officials, but without Dion and Scoop’s mistakes, it never becomes a factor. The Orange can’t control the officials, but they can control what they do on the court.
The last (and only) time Syracuse was in this position, the year was 1987 and Sherman Douglas was throwing alley-oops to Rony Seikaly. That year, the Orangemen advanced to the national title game to play the Indiana Hoosiers. But before SU even got there, it defeated Providence for the third time that season in the national semifinals game. That is to say, Syracuse met another Big East foe in the NCAA tournament.